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Thread: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    I've got a room in my house that's dedicated to playing and recording music. The room is about 12' x 20' -- that's a guess, but pretty close -- and has a drop ceiling about 7' high or so. There are boxes and pieces of furniture in there that I'm clearing out soon, since I'm having the floor carpeted wall to wall.

    Once the carpet's installed, I just want the following things in the room:
    • Five electric guitars and one acoustic guitar
    • One upright digital piano
    • One Fender Super Reverb (4x10)
    • One Vox AC30 (2x12)
    • One Mesa 2x12 vertical cab
    • Two Mesa heads
    • One Vox Valvetronix head
    • A pedalboard with swappable pedals
    • One boom stand with Shure SM57 or SM58 mic (have one of each)
    • Apple PowerBook (laptop) plus audio interface for recording and small speakers for monitoring
    • An arsenal of instrument, MIDI, microphone and speaker cables
    I'd like to get a small desk to put in one corner of the room for my laptop, and I'm thinking of putting the digital piano against one of those walls and the amps against the other. That way I can get cables easily from the piano, amps and microphone to the computer for recording.

    To save space, I'm thinking about hanging the electric guitars on one of the walls. I think this would look good and allow for easy access.

    I want the majority of the room to be clutter-free and clear so I can sit on a chair and play at least 10' away from the amps. I'm thinking about getting a Pork Pie drum seat instead of a stool, something along the lines of this. If you've ever played guitar sitting on one of these, you know how comfortable they are.

    Somewhere I think I'll need a nice, framed poster of Jimi Hendrix or some other inspirational figure.

    Really, I'm looking for some advice from my forum bros on what would look good and inspire creativity while still being clean, functional and useful for recording. It's like what HGTV would do for home studio musicians.

    Bring me any thoughts, pictures, examples..whatever you got.

    Much thanks,

    Keith
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Toneologist
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    A picture of the room would probably be helpful?

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    CastorHopologist Budweiser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Quote Originally Posted by KGMESSIER View Post
    • Five electric guitars and one acoustic guitar
    • One upright digital piano
    • One Fender Super Reverb (4x10)
    • One Vox AC30 (2x12)
    • One Mesa 2x12 vertical cab
    • Two Mesa heads
    • One Vox Valvetronix head
    • A pedalboard with swappable pedals
    • One boom stand with Shure SM57 or SM58 mic (have one of each)
    • Apple PowerBook (laptop) plus audio interface for recording and small speakers for monitoring
    • An arsenal of instrument, MIDI, microphone and speaker cables
    I'd like to get a small desk to put in one corner of the room for my laptop, and I'm thinking of putting the digital piano against one of those walls and the amps against the other. That way I can get cables easily from the piano, amps and microphone to the computer for recording.
    ...all in a 12 X 20 room? In the words of Chief Brody: "I think we'll need a bigger boat!"
    Life's a journey, pack a lunch!.

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    I'll have to re-measure the room tonight. I'll take a picture of it, too. Mind you, it's in scary shape right now. (Just bought the house, so the music room is doubling as a storage space along with the garage.)

    - Keith
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    I've got mine like this...

    The long wall with the door - all the recording gear
    The long wall - all the amps + utility drawers with TV/DVD/VHS for lesson tapes
    Short wall - Warwick 7&5 spc stands with most of my guitars.
    Closet - jammed full of crates of cables, guitar cases, and junk.

    In the middle, I have an old 70's barstool, which has a footrest ring, and a the seat has a back but no arms. Burnt Sienna velour! LOL 70's baby!!!
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker RW James's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    This may sound a little wierd... but bear with me.

    A few years back I was heavily into model railroading. One of my favorite trains to run was one that had boxcars lettered for all my friends' railroads.

    I just thought that it might be interesting to have CD covers from bands here in the forum. You could ask forum bros to send you jpegs of actual CD covers, or perhaps mock one up for a fantasy CD they would like to produce someday. You could mount them on squares of foam core and double sticky them to the wall. These wouldn't take a lot of room and could be scattered around to fill in space as needed.

    Anyway just an idea - and one I may do someday when I get around to finishing off my music room.
    Rick
    (the original Rick James!)

    Sing unto Him a new song; play skillfully with a LOUD noise. Psalm 33:3
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    Toneologist
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Oh i like that cd cover thing. You could probably make like a border around the top too as an idea, like wallpaper but cd covers.

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    I also like rope light around the upper perimeter of the room. No bright lights, just dim lighting.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

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    Mojo's Minions Markk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    That's a lot of expensive gear in one room

    Have you thought of maybe an internal decorator or something along those lines. Sometimes these people can work magic
    "The amp has been making a lot of noise and acting funky, perhaps it may be aware of the amount of rock it's about to be punished with" ~GearMannDude
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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Quote Originally Posted by Markk View Post
    Have you thought of maybe an internal decorator or something along those lines. Sometimes these people can work magic
    They can also cost an arm and a leg, and I'll need one of those to play.
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Bengalsologist MikeS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    I also like rope light around the upper perimeter of the room. No bright lights, just dim lighting.
    Christmas lights. Multi-colored in our studio, all blue in my music room in my apartment.

    I like the look and functionality of hanging guitars on walls. In small spaces I also prefer office style desks over desks designed to house recording stations because the drawers and shelves offer more storage options for stuff like mikes, cables, sheet music, tuners, etc, etc.

    My only other advice is to keep things like amps fairly mobile at first. You'll find that, especially in a rectangular room, that moving them around, rotating them, etc, has a big impact on how the room reacts sonically. What works best for spacial reasons might not be the best acoustic solution.

    The last thing you want in your music room is an interior decorator (as in, not a designer). It should be decorated with what inspires you, not what some design school dropout who picks carpet for a living thinks would look good to spruce up the space. Plus, I've never met a decorator who had any concept of what a budget was.
    Last edited by MikeS; 10-12-2006 at 06:26 AM.
    Duncan Pickups in currently in use: '59 (rewound to PATB-3)/'59, Custom 5/AP2H, Tapped QP set for Tele, Duncan Distortion, SP90-1/SP90-2

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Okay, I've got some pictures of the room just before I bought the house. It was used as a spare bedroom for the owners' granddaughter, so you'll have to use your imagination to visualize it as an altar for worshipping the gods of rock.

    BTW, I had the room's dimensions all wrong. The room is actually 12' 11" x 11' 0". The following posts will contain some pictures and specific dimensions.

    - Keith
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Here's the first picture. The width of the room, where the headboard of the bed is, measures 11' 0" across. The wall to the right of the bed, where you see the small window, measures 12' 11".

    Last edited by Pink Unicorn Horsey; 10-12-2006 at 10:17 AM.

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    This next picture shows the wall to the left of the bed. There are two doors on this wall, the left one (the edge of which you can barely see) being the entrance to the room, and the right one being a door to the bathroom.

    The length of wall space between the two doors measures 2' 10"; the length to the right of the bathroom door measures 3' 6".

    Notice the plastered ceiling, which is almost exactly 7' from the floor.

    Last edited by Pink Unicorn Horsey; 10-12-2006 at 10:16 AM.

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    The third picture is of the wall immediately to the right as you walk in, opposite the wall with the bed. The inset, where the picture shows a wardrobe, measures 6' 0" wide by 2' 3" deep. I have my digital piano in there right now, but I'm thinking about hanging my guitars on the wall in this space. (BTW, the digital piano is 4' 9" wide by 2' 1" deep.


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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    This last picture just shows the inset from a different angle. You can also see the doorway that is the entrance to the room.

    I'm having the parquet flooring ripped out -- looks nice, but buckles all over the place -- and having wall-to-wall carpeting installed.


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    Bengalsologist MikeS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Quote Originally Posted by KGMESSIER View Post
    The third picture is of the wall immediately to the right as you walk in, opposite the wall with the bed. The inset, where the picture shows a wardrobe, measures 6' 0" wide by 2' 3" deep. I have my digital piano in there right now, but I'm thinking about hanging my guitars on the wall in this space. (BTW, the digital piano is 4' 9" wide by 2' 1" deep.
    That would make a really cool guitar niche. Nice way to show off the tools of the trade. Could do some really cool lighting to show of the guit-fiddles, too

    With the layout of the doors in a small room you've got a challenge ahead of you. Getting all that gear in there isn't going to be easy.
    Duncan Pickups in currently in use: '59 (rewound to PATB-3)/'59, Custom 5/AP2H, Tapped QP set for Tele, Duncan Distortion, SP90-1/SP90-2

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Thanks for the pics. Here's what I would do:

    - amps in the recessed space where the armoire is. Build a shelf for the heads. Stack amps where necessary
    - guitars hung on one of the walls. Make sure to mount your wall hangers into studs.
    - desk in a corner
    - position the keyboard next to the desk so you can roll over to it from the desk using a rolling desk chair
    - fold up the boom stand and put it in a corner when you're not using it.
    - make a pegboard to hang the cables on and mount it on the wall, or store them in drawers
    - keep your mics in a drawer when you're not using them
    - mount your monitors on a shelf or wall brackets over the desk. Put them at ear level.
    - get a stool you can sit on for playing guitar. Place it against the wall under the guitars when you're not using it.
    - invest in some cable ducts and use them wherever you get cable clutter
    - invest in some ceiling pot lights and a dimmer switch. DO NOT use fluorescent lights
    - decorate to suit your taste. The album covers thing is a cool idea.

  19. #19
    Skarekrough
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    One thing I might suggest giving a few thoughts to is making it so it isn't as much a room to play guitars and record in, but an actual music room. Have your axes and amps and all, but set it up so that there's some really ccomfy furniture in there and a nice set of headphones and monitors to just go in, hang out, and listen to music or spend quality time musically.

    In my music room I have all my guitars, amps, computer, etc. The problem is that there's a stool for playing guitar and an office chair for the computer. I find myself wishing I had a nice overstuffed leather couch and some nice speakers to sit around and just listen to music, just a nice little place that's out of the way to kick back and mellow out.

    BTW...I would leave the floors bare and maybe get an area rug. The natural reverb of a hardwood floor is nice. I also found that some of my guitar stands aren't as steady on carpeting. Since I use my room as a bit of a staging area before I load out my gear into the car for a gig that's kind of an important thing. I also went out and bought a nice shelf system that I keep two of my amps on and all my pedals. The amps are there waiting to be powered up and having the pedals laid out like that makes them easy for me to grab when I want one.

    I would also consider painting the walls something a little less bright.

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    Varg Pradoon Enčilakiip Pink Unicorn Horsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for Setting Up a Music Room

    Loads of great advice here! I feel like I should do something special with that inlet, and I've considered using it for both purposes already suggested: using it to showcase my guitars, or keeping my amps there and installing shelving for heads, pedals, etc. The amps may be just slightly too big to place side-by-side, as that space measures 6' across and my amps are a little more than that when stacked next to each other.

    I'm quite certain I'm going to hang the guitars on the wall someplace. The trick is finding the studs and hoping they're in a place where (a) I can get to the guitars easily and (b) the guitars can be showcased.

    I like the idea of having the cables on a pegboard or some kind of hooks so they're always at the ready. If it can be done in a way that's not visually cluttering, I'm all for it.

    Now that ratherdashing mentioned the idea of installing pot lights and a dimmer for them, I'm really digging that. No idea what it'll cost. I have an electrician coming to the house Tuesday to install some additional outlets around the house, so I may ask about the cost for a job like that. They charge by the hour. No clue how long it would take to install, say, four pot lights and a dimmer. Man, I'm really liking this idea!

    Making it a comfy room for listening to music -- sort of a retreat from the chaos of life -- is a nice idea. If I could squeeze one comfy chair in there, I'd love it. It's just a question of space; I don't want to crowd the place.

    I have an area rug over the parquet right now, and I must say that it drives me batty because it creates so many lint balls and I don't like how the edges break up the room. I really want that wall-to-wall in there to make the room feel more smooth and open. Good point about the natural reverb of the parquet, though. Perhaps there's an other solution to the problem that would still look nice, maybe doing something with one or two of the walls. And yes, that room needs a nice coat of warm paint!

    The CD cover idea is very intriguing. Tell me more about that, too.

    Great ideas, everyone! Keep 'em coming.

    - Keith
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    I am just jug the merlot

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